Here's a piece fresh from the wash!
You can still see a bit of the texture from using the garter stitch. I found that the stockingette stitch makes a tighter, smoother felt, but sometimes i do like the texture.
After several experiences, I am learning a lot about my felt! I set the washer to a hot/cold cycle for the longest amount of time i could (i know i am using a ton of energy, but all the jeans, towels, socks and undies got clean too!) and checked on my pieces frequently. When they look "done" i take them out of the wash and can still shape them while they're wet.
Letting them air dry on a towel I found works better than tossing them in the dryer. The heat and tumbling turns them into weird shapes. When i get real serious about this I am going to cut cardboard to fit inside each one so they can dry to the correct shape. For now i am getting ready to finish with buttons, snaps or whatever's required.